Both the BBC and Belfast Telegraph have carried reports about the fact that Belfast City Council did not stage a New Year's Eve celebration in the city centre. In its editorial the Telegraph asked:
Would it be too much to ask the city authorities to consider a more fitting celebration in Belfast next year? We have the facilities at the beautifully-restored harbour area, and we have the people of Belfast and elsewhere who know how to party.
The truth is that there are extra costs associated with staging an event over the holiday period and with the cost of entertainers, staging, lighting, security and advertising, an New Year's Eve event would cost Belfast ratepayers at least a quarter of a million pounds. Moreover past experience shows that such events only draw around 5,000 people. I notice that the Telegraph editorial made no mention of the cost to ratepayers.